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Thomson, LG to Develop D/A Converter Boxes

WASHINGTON – The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have selected LG Electronics and Thomson to each develop prototype high quality, low cost terrestrial digital converter boxes to receive digital signals on conventional analog televisions.

Jointly funded by MSTV and NAB with development support from Thomson and LG Electronics, these prototypes will serve as blueprints for future products from manufacturers to ensure that the more than 70 million analog TVs relying exclusively on terrestrial broadcast signals will continue to receive free over-the-air TV service when all-digital broadcasting begins, the companies said in a joint announcement.

MSTV president David Donovan explained that today’s announcement follows an extensive evaluation over the past several months of more than a dozen proposals submitted by leading electronics and integrated circuit manufacturers from around the world in response to a Request for Quotation released by NAB and MSTV on June 20.

“No viewer should be left behind when this nation converts to all-digital signals,” said Donovan. “Developing a high-quality, low-cost digital-to-analog converter box ensures that all Americans will be able to receive emergency information and their favorite TV shows using existing analog television sets. We are delighted to be working with these companies, both leaders in the consumer electronics industry. This collaborative effort benefits all consumers.”

NAB president Eddie Fritts observed, “There are 21 million homes and 73 million receivers relying exclusively on antennas to receive local television signals. Disenfranchising these viewers would present a significant problem for broadcasters, the government and consumers. This project demonstrates a willingness by both broadcasters and two of the world’s leading electronics companies to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to local television signals both during and after the transition to digital.”